Gibson Nez, Jicarilla Apache and Navajo, is known throughout the Indian arts industry and by collectors worldwide as the master of stampwork. No other craftsman comes close to the expert precision of his sharp, clean, impossibly close stamps. Parallel lines, a hairs-breadth apart, encircle bolos and bracelets like radiant energy, drawing your eye to the extraordinary, gem-grade stone Gibson hand-picks to feature in the center. Stampwork of Gibson’s caliber requires extreme patience and an eye for balance. “What is important to me is to make one nice piece, not a lot of mediocre pieces,” said Gibson.
Gibson’s pieces have won ribbons and awards at all the major competitions, including Gallup Ceremonial, Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum, the All Mankind Jewelry Competition in Washington, D.C., and Casa Grande in Arizona. Asked what makes him most proud in his work, Gibson said, “I simply try to make a piece that highlights the stone.”
Gibson’s work embodies unrelenting attention to detail. Each hand-struck stamp adds and builds on the last. Single, meticulously placed lines are, together, the power to Gibson’s work - a complete harmony of silver and stone.
Gibson sadly passed away on December 1, 2007, but his work will be cherished for years to come. Long after those who knew him are gone he will still be remembered through his powerful jewelry.